Collection: Makode Linde

Controversial Art by Makode Linde

Makode Linde, a Swedish artist, musician and DJ who now lives in Berlin, has received international attention, not least through a controversial event at the Modern Museum in Stockholm in April 2012.

During the 75th anniversary of the National Artists' Organization (KRO), Linde was invited to create a special cake, called "Painful Cake". The cake was shaped like a black Venus of Willendorf, with Linde's own head made up in the style of a classic caricature of black people, also known as "golliwogg" and similar "blackface".

The controversial nature of the artwork reached its peak when the first piece of cake was cut from the woman's abdomen, resulting in a dramatic reaction from the artist himself. The entire event was videotaped and further controversy arose when Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth cut the first piece of cake.

Many criticized the artwork as racist, and the incident was reported to the Ombudsman. The national confederation of Afro-Swedish people even demanded the resignation of the minister of culture. Linde defended her work by claiming that it symbolically depicted how whites consume blacks, dismembering their body parts and eating them.

Makode Linde's artistry has its origins in his own experiences as the child of a Swedish mother and a father from West Africa. His work highlights the challenges and the different treatment he experiences as an individual with a mixed background in a society characterized by racism.


Adolf Fredrik School of Music, Art Department
California College of Art
Stockholm School of Art


The Culture House in Stockholm
Kungsträdgården, Stockholm
Modern Museum, Stockholm
Stadsteatern, Kulturhuset, Stockholm


Nominated for Dagens Nyheter's culture prize (art) 2013
Artist of the year 2013, Strömstad municipality

In 2008 he received the student scholarship at the Stockholm Art Fair and Sibirien Lito's student scholarship. Nowadays Makode is internationally active, and this year has made a performance at the Vendig Biennale and in Sofia in Bulgaria and participated in Suecia Contemporanea at the Uppsala Art Museum.

Linde has also collaborated with a number of pop musicians. Among other things, he made the cover for Kent's album Röd , made merchandise for Lady Gaga and the video for Zhala's single "Slippin Around".

Linde is represented at, among others, the Röhsska museum and the National Museum in Stockholm.